Friday, January 07, 2011

Where to find the stars this weekend

Varied Thrush -- November 29, 2010

Undaunted by our second big snowfall, Central Park's two ornithological stars made themselves known to faithful birdwatcher Tom Fiore:

Tom's report:
Friday, 7 January 2011 - Central Park, Manhattan, N.Y. City

The VARIED THRUSH continues, seen at 7:30 - 7:45 a.m. this morning and also very briefly in mid-afternoon as the snow seemed to be ending. The location in both cases was the "usual" area, that is just east of the men's bathroom & maintenance building, located immediately on the south side of the E. 79 Street crosstown Transverse Road that bisects the park ... and in the morning the thrush was very near the transverse road's upper lip or edge, that is to say it was visible from the park path without having to close in and "push" the thrush as occasionally has happened with eager 'seekers'... Two male Eastern Towhees also were nearby & there were a lot of White-throated, & at least one "red" Fox Sparrow[s] nearby also. Various other typical winter birds were found in multiple areas.

The RED-HEADED WOODPECKER (first-winter, with little or no red on it's head yet) is continuing in the area of the south side path along Sheep Meadow which also is immediately north of and parallel with the 66 Street Transverse Road of the park. I have seen it range up to several hundred yards (up to 1/4-mile, give or take a few yards) from its favored area, but it does seem loyal to the trees & suuroundings of that path. The area is not quite as far east as the southeast "corner" of Sheep Meadow, & can be in trees near a low area of the path or also farther east, or occasionally farther off. A reasonably patient look will reward, probably more regularly than the more sometimes-elusive varied thrush. The woodpecker is occasionally harassed by European Starlings which is a common situation for various birds, particularly in Central Park. It often 'gives as good as it gets', and that is against more than a few starlings.

Good birding,

Tom Fiore,